Kim Jong-Il’s regime could collapse within six months, bringing chaos to North Korea, observers and intelligence sources in Asia have told Jane’s.
A joint United States report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the US Institute for Peace has also revealed that China has “contingency plans” in the event of North Korea’s implosion. The report, entitled ‘Keeping an Eye on an Unruly Neighbor’, said that China was prepared to “take the initiative” and had a military strategy for securing North Korea’s “loose nukes” should Kim Jong-Il’s rule fail.
Any apocalyptic scenario has to be taken with a grain of salt; in 1997 the Central Intelligence Agency predicted the collapse of North Korea within five years. However, there are reasons for the heightened levels of concern; in particular, the recent actions of Kim Jong-Il and other North Korean officials are being interpreted as signs that the regime is nearing its end.